Maartin Allcock, Musician With Tull, Fairport, Dies

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Jethro Tull, 1988 (L-R: Martin Barre, Ian Anderson, Doane Perry, Maartin Allcock, and Dave Pegg) in an uncredited photo from Allcock’s website

Maartin Allcock, a multi-instrumentalist who performed for 11 years with Fairport Convention and four with Jethro Tull, died on September 16. Among those mourning his death were Cat Stevens and Jethro Tull via their social media platforms. Allcock was 61 and had been suffering from liver cancer. Allcock’s website also noted the musician’s death: “It is with overwhelming sadness that we have to announce the death of our wonderful husband, friend, father and genius musician.”

The musician, known as Maart, had performed on stage five weeks before he died, at Fairport’s annual Cropredy Convention  on August 9. (Watch his performance below.)

Stevens paid tribute to Allcock on September 16 via his Facebook page: “Deeply saddened at the passing of Maartin Allcock. A musical genius who featured prominently on [Stevens’ 2017] album The Laughing Apple. He knew his death was imminent and never have I seen someone face this reality with such brave honesty and peaceful acceptance. May God have mercy on his melodious soul.”

The Jethro Tull Facebook page published a tribute on September 17: “We learned today of the sad news that Maartin Allcock had passed away after several months of battling the final stages of liver cancer. Maart’s work with Tull starting in the late 80s was memorable for his joy and exuberant commitment to music of all kinds – even ours. His time with the Fairports and his various collaborations with artists too numerous to mention here were marked by his skills in mastering several instruments and tackling many genres. He leaves behind a treasure trove of recordings and a feast of memories.

RIP Maart.”

Watch Allcock perform at the 2018 Fairport Cropredy Convention

Allcock was born January 5, 1957 outside of Manchester, U.K., and began playing professionally in his late teens. He first played with the folk group, the Bully Wee Band, and then joined the acclaimed British folk rock band, Fairport Convention, as lead guitarist in 1985 for a run that lasted 11 years. His website notes that he simultaneously played with Jethro Tull, primarily as their keyboardist in 1988, remaining with the group for four years, while also playing guitar and mandolin.

Watch Allcock reunite with Tull at the 2004 Cropredy festival for a reggae version of “John Barleycorn (Must Die)”

On his website in June 2018, Allcock revealed that his cancer was terminal but was “totally at peace with what the future holds.” He wrote at the time that he had begun an autobiography in January and expected to finish it. He added: “I will go with dignity, good humour and good grace. I just have to wait now for transport back to my own planet.”

Allcock is survived by his wife, Jan, and his three children Madeleine, Jered and Jane.

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  1. JohnnyCNote
    #1 JohnnyCNote 18 September, 2018, 01:45

    Not intending to imply anything unfavorable, was there any heavy alcohol use in his past, or was his liver cancer the final stage, after having developed from cirrhosis? For the record, one can develop cirrhosis even with no, or next to no, consumption of alcohol…

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    • Domduck
      Domduck 18 September, 2018, 16:01

      He played with Fairport so obviously liked a drink! Last year he actually went on a health drive and at Cropredy 2017 looked extremely fit and well! He was diagnosed in January 2018 from what I gather.

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